French President Emmanuel Macron has urged his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to assist in putting an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“I know I can count on you to bring Russia back to the negotiating table,” he told Mr Xi in Beijing.
Mr. Xi stated that China and France have the “ability and responsibility” to maintain global peace.
However, Moscow stated that there are “no prospects for a peaceful settlement” and that its offensive would continue.
Mr Macron is on a state visit to China, which is being closely watched following years of deteriorating relations between the West and China, which has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Mr. Macron is also looking to strengthen trade ties. He is accompanied by European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, whom he has invited to participate in talks with Chinese leaders, as well as a large business delegation.
Europe’s good cop and bad cop will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Mr. Macron was treated to an elaborate military parade in Beijing on Thursday afternoon before entering closed-door talks with Mr. Xi, which Chinese and French officials described as “frank” and “friendly.”
Mr. Xi later told the press that “China advocates for peace talks and seeks a political solution,” and he urged the international community to exercise “rational restraint.”
He also stated unequivocally that nuclear weapons should not be used in the conflict. Russia announced earlier this week that it intended to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, near the ally’s western border with Nato nations.
Mr. Macron stated that “we can’t have a safe and stable Europe” as long as Ukraine is occupied, and that it was “unacceptable” that a member of the United Nations Security Council violated the organization’s charter.